Monday Brain

One of the books Dr. Zal gave me last Chanukah/Christmas was The Body: A Guide For Occupants by Bill Bryson. His book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, is one of my all-time favorites.

Chapter 4 of The Body is titled, “The Brain.” I am going to skirt the fringes of copyright law and share some passages from that chapter that astounded me.

 

“The general paradox of the brain is that everything you know about the world is provided to you by an organ that has itself never seen the world.”

“Just sitting quietly, doing nothing at all, your brain churns through more information in thirty seconds than the Hubble Space Telescope has processed in thirty years.”

“Each neuron connects with thousands of other neurons, giving trillions and trillions of connections–as many connections ‘in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way,’ to quote neuroscientist David Eagleman.”

“What is surely most curious and extraordinary about our brain is how largely unnecessary it is. [my note: too many people seem to act that way] To survive on Earth, you don’t need to be able write music or engage in philosophy–you really only need to be able to outthink a quadruped–so why have we evolved so much energy and risk in producing mental capacity that we don’t really need? That is just one of the many things about your brain that your brain won’t tell you.”

 

One of Bryson’s main themes about the brain is how little we actually know about it. For example, we don’t know why the two hemispheres of the cerebrum are “cross-wired.” That is, the right side of the cerebrum controls the left side of the body and vice versa. I am always put off, to be polite, by people who think they know everything about a given topic, that they have it all figured out and can predict the future. To be far less than polite, BULLSH*T!

“Trust those who seek the truth but doubt those who say they have found it.”

– André Gide

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I think this car that my wonderful wife and I test-drove in December is still available:

 

 

We visited this luxury make palace on Saturday and a car looking very much like the one pictured above was sitting on the lot. Of course, now that we have three cars in our three-car garage and don’t have a lot anywhere near large enough to accommodate another car, a Maserati Gran Turismo coupe–or any other car, for that matter–is out of the question.

In a text exchange with David Banner (not his real name) I wrote that our current three-car garage is at least one space too small, but that I would probably feel that way no matter how large our garage. What can I say? I REALLY understand how people wind up owning dozens of cars.

 

#MondayBrain

#BillBryson

#NoOneKnowsEverythingAboutAnything

#MaseratiGranTurismo

#AutomobileObsession

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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11 thoughts on “Monday Brain

  1. Bill Bryson is one of my all time favorite authors. “A Walk in the Woods” is one of the few books that made me laugh out loud while reading. “Down Under” was also very entertaining, having lived in Australia myself as a child. I will have to read “A Short History……”

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  2. I was fortunate (?) to be right-handed and taught how to handle tools and other handed activities by a left-handed father. It was a great experience and training as my son is also left-handed as is his wife. As you note above, the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain. My son has pointed out to me that fact reminding me that makes left-handed people the only people in their “right” minds.

    I find it helpful in polite company to refer to bovine excrement by the military phonetic alphabet words for the letters, Bravo Sierra. I get quizzical looks from some and wry smiles from others.

    Always being in need for new authors and books to read, I will investigate Mr. Bryson’s works.

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  3. I have a friend who fell into many millions of dollars. Since then, I can only imagine that this person’s net worth has only increased, as they are not very extravagant. They did loan me a significant amount of money without batting an eye to buy two practices back when I was in the business. This person buys in bulk, as in when they find a pair of shoes or a sweater that they like, they buy every color or version. I will never forget a patient of mine who was a very successful interior designer who lived in a tiny townhouse. I asked her why and she said so she could afford to collect original works of art. If you have a passion for something-and the means-why limit yourself?

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    1. Yes, if you can afford to “indulge” yourself and you want to, then you probably should. What I must admit is frustrating, in a totally first-world problem kind of way, is to not be poor and yet not be quite able to indulge myself.

      If I were working and had a steady income from such a job, then I would be less cautious about spending. What did Tim Whittie always say? If your aunt had balls she would be your uncle.

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  4. For someone like myself, it’s near impossible to have too much garage space. When I first got this property I had built a 30’x50′ metal building thinking that would be more than I could ever fill..In 3 years it was full. So another building 30’x80′ was built. This one was built and designed with a little more fore thought, space reserved for two 2 post car lifts, small machine shop and metal fabrication area (milling machine, lathe, bending brake, shear, english wheel, welding area,etc) I also have 3 RV size carports to park work trucks and trailers under for our business. I still have stuff outside, but the count is down to 1 as I’ve sold off projects that I know I’ll never get to.

    “Hi, I’m DDM and I’m an addict.”

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    1. I think many car enthusiasts would drool over your situation. I would love to have that kind of space although I wouldn’t have a small machine shop and metal fabrication area. If I had such things I would be dead in weeks.

      Your last line is a reminder of why we like reading your comments so much.

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      1. There are a fair number of folks who I let use any of my shop. 90% of the time there is a vehicle other than mine here being worked on. This also includes some of the neighborhood teenagers, as long as an adult is present. I may not like what they are doing to their vehicles, but I’ll encourage and assist them in their modifications (I still haven’t figured out a 4 wheel drive pickup with the rear lowered to the point of looking foolish). I was given similar help in my teen years and am glad to be able offer help to keep “hot rodding” alive.

        I know I have a shop that most wish they could build and I don’t mind sharing my “wealth.” Most of the shop equipment I was able to buy cheaply due to our line of work (machinery movers and installers) from companies that were closing down. Having a background using most at one time or another in my working life has worked out well for me. I don’t mind teaching others on some of the equipment, but if they don’t have the experience I request that they not use them. I can tell in a couple of minutes if someone is familiar with the operation of every piece of equipment I have. And given 3-4 weeks, I’m sure I could teach you the safe operation of most them. It’s not rocket science, but a lot of common sense IS involved.

        Always happy to include a bit of levity. 🙂

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      2. Very generous of you, sir, to allow others to use the resources in your shop. I know people with extensive tool sets who won’t let their spouses so much as breathe on the tool box.

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  5. I have accepted my lot in life… no more than two stalls in the garage, no way to add to my vehicle collection without renting storage somewhere. That won’t stop me from attending Barrett-Jackson in a couple of weeks, though.
    Given COVID restrictions, though, on my class of ticket, I won’t be allowed admission to the auction area. That’s a blessing in disguise. I won’t be bringing home any vehicles I don’t have room to keep. 🙂

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